Vietnamese culture: Origin of the name “Gò Vấp”

Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Learning Vietnamese in Ho Chi Minh City - Live in Vietnamese

Nguồn: Internet

According to some experts, the real name “Gò Vấp” should be “Gò Vắp” because the current name (Gò Vấp) has been formed by consistent mispronunciation over years of use. There is a legend that the Gò Vấp, meaning Mesua Ferrea hill, at this area gives the district its original name.

Nguồn: Internet

Mesua Ferrea is indigenous to tropical Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In Cham, Mesua Ferrea is also called Krai; while in Vietnamese, it has various names such as “vắp” or “lùn”. It is a kind of arbor with a large, straight trunk up to 15-20 meters high. Its bark has a dark brown color. The thick leaf canopy has a pyramid shape with many branches. Young leaves are soft and redish purple, while older ones maintain a dark green gleam.

Nguồn: Internet

The area of Gò Vấp was discovered from early on when Vietnamese nomadic people reclaimed their lands from the late 16th century to the early 17th century. Gò Vấp is located 1 kilometer away from the old center- Ben Nghe (1st district nowadays), near the Northwest. It lies on a hill (more than 11 meters over the sea level) with freshwater supplied by the Ben Cat river, a branch of Sai Gon river that is advantageous for cultivation and daily activities. Because of this fact,  these nomadic people chose this place to establish hamlets, villages, and new native lands.

Nguồn: Internet

Nowadays, along with the development of Ho Chi Minh City, Gò Vấp has merged into the urban districts, gaining a high growth rate and stable developing economy.


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